Back in The Day, This Giant Kinky Toy Makes You Feel Alright

During its heyday in the 1960s and ‘70s, Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed was an American pop culture icon. It brought weary travellers 15 minutes of “tingling relaxation and ease” for a quarter in hotel dan motel rooms across America.

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The Englander Mattress Company came out with a mechanical vibrating mattress in 1958, and salesman John Houghtaling was working hard trying to sell their new contraption to hotels and motels. He hit a stumbling block, though; while hoteliers liked the product, they didn’t want to dispose of hundreds of perfectly good mattresses to replace them with vibrating models. Tinkering in the basement of his New Jersey home, John Houghtaling invented Magic Fingers. It consisted of a small electric motor, about half the size of a coffee can, with an off-center weight on the shaft. The device could be connected to four coil springs inside of an existing mattress. The coin-operated device would then mounted onto a hotel bed.

Park yourself on that bed, slip a quarter in the attached coin box slot, it would shake the mattress for 15 minutes. Imagine that you are sleeping on a giant purring cat. Let everything go and enjoy the sensation as your body was reduced to a useless puddle of flesh. Melted.

Put in a quarter, turn out the light. Magic fingers makes you feel alright. Feel alright, feel alright. Magic fingers makes you feel alright.

Jimmy Buffett – This Hotel Room

That was before they became a standard cliché involving “adult” motels though. The tide first began to turn in 1967, when the Best Western chain announced that it was removing all coin-operated devices from their rooms as they felt they “cheapened” the company’s image. Eventually other chains followed suit, particularly when vibrating beds became a common joke in movies and on TV when making reference to a sleazy truck stop or den of iniquity.

Kitschy and titillating, Magic Fingers remained a staple of American pop culture even after the device began disappearing from hotels and motels. The vibrations triggered a beer explosion in the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” and FBI Agents Mulder and Scully relaxed to the pulsations in an episode of “The X-Files.” Dean from “Supernatural” series is very, very fond of it, and always delighted when he encounters it in various motels.

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Nowadays where could we find this promising escape from the work-a-day non-vibrating bed world? Apparently the company is still around, at least in name. There is an information at their website that they only offer the home game version of Magic Fingers.  In a way, it seems like Magic Fingers would work better at home anyway.

It has probably been used less for its therapeutic advantages, and more as a giant kinky toy.

ODDLOOP

ODDLOOP

A little bit of perversion, a dash of poignancy, and a spoonful of audacity.
ODDLOOP

ODDLOOP

A little bit of perversion, a dash of poignancy, and a spoonful of audacity.